BMW Team RLL – Petit Le Mans Preview; Dirk Müller Races For the GT Driver Title and Michelin Green X Challenge Trophy

Wood­cliff Lake, N.J. – Oct. 14, 2013 … BMW Team RLL will race for two impor­tant cham­pi­onships at the Amer­ican Le Mans Series season-ending and series-finale 16th annual Petit Le Mans. Dirk Müller will race for the driver’s cham­pi­onship in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE with John Edwards and Uwe Alzen this weekend. He enters the race second in the GT driver battle, 16 points behind the leaders. The trio will also be racing the No. 56 machine for the Michelin Green X Chal­lenge trophy, awarded by the tire manu­fac­turer to the most clean, fast and effi­cient car in the class. The No. 55 Z4 GTE will be shared by Bill Auberlen, Maxime Martin and Jörg Müller at Petit.

The debut season for the BMW Z4 GTE has been very successful. The No. 55 machine won at Long Beach and the No. 56 car won at Lime­Rock­Park. The team has also scored four addi­tional podiums, four pole posi­tions, and eight top-5 finishes.

We have had compet­i­tive races at Road Atlanta in previous seasons with the M3 GT,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Prin­cipal. “Last year we were doing very well, but got involved in an inci­dent during the night with a car that had the lights off and was going very slowly. That really took us out of the chance to win the race. A couple of years ago we won the team and manufacturer’s cham­pi­onships on the last lap, so we just need to do the best we can, stay out of trouble and see how the race plays out.

Rahal continued, “I think the first season with the Z4 GTE has been fantastic. We didn’t quite know what to expect with the new car and a new tire partner in Michelin. There were a lot of new elements to the year for us but I think anybody can be happy with winning two races and four pole posi­tions. We have come a long way in a short time. Obvi­ously I would love to see Dirk win the Drivers Cham­pi­onship. He has done a great job this year.”

Bill Auberlen, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “Petit Le Mans is one of my favorite races in the world. This year I have an amazing crew, an amazing team and the incred­ible BMW Z4 GTE. Max (Martin), Jörg (Müller) and I will fight like crazy to get to victory lane.”

Maxime Martin, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m really excited to race at Petit Le Mans. I have watched this race many years on TV and now it is my turn to race it! I’m sure we have a good chance, with my team­mates Bill (Auberlen) and Jörg (Müller), to finish the season strongly.”

Jörg Müller, driver, No. 55 Z4 GTE – “I’m very happy to come back to Petit this year, espe­cially because it will be such a histor­ical event as the last ALMS Race. After my big acci­dent at Spa this year it’s very impor­tant for me to be back racing. I’m really looking forward to supporting BMW Motor­sport and BMW Team RLL.”

John Edwards, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTE – “This year was my first Sebring 12 Hour and will also be my first Petit Le Mans. I’ve been to the race multiple times as a fan and in support series, so I’ve had my eye on competing in the main show for many years. Road Atlanta is an intense track, so I’m excited for the chal­lenge of Turn 1 and the esses at night time! This season has been a good one so far with BMW Team RLL, as Dirk and I have one win together and multiple podiums. Dirk can still win the Drivers Cham­pi­onship, so we’re focused on a strong close of the year. I’m confi­dent that we’ll have a great car and a chance at the win in the final endurance race of the season.”

Dirk Müller, driver, No. 56 Z4 GTE – “This is going to be a very special race. The last race of the season and the final one for the ALMS is around the corner and we are still fighting for the cham­pi­onship. The 1000 miles of Petit Le Mans are very demanding and as a team, we are really focused and willing to fight for a win. I am pleased to have John (Edwards) and Uwe (Alzen) back in the 56 car. I wish BMW and Joey good luck in Hock­en­heim at the DTM finale.”

Qual­i­fying and live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com at 1:50 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 18th and Saturday, Oct. 19th at 11:30 a.m. respec­tively. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The race is sched­uled to be broad­cast on Fox Sports 1 and 2 tele­vi­sion per the following schedule; 11:00am — 12pm EDT on FOX Sports 2, 2:30pm — 6:30pm EDT on FOX Sports 2, 6:30pm — 8pm EDT on  FOX Sports 1, and 8pm — 9:00pm EDT FOX Sports 2. ALMS.com will stream in-car footage throughout the race and the full live feed for inter­na­tional views. More infor­ma­tion on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distrib­uting vehi­cles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and finan­cial service orga­ni­za­tions for the BMW brand of motor vehi­cles, including motor­cy­cles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; Design­work­sUSA, a strategic design consul­tancy in Cali­fornia; a tech­nology office in Silicon Valley and various other oper­a­tions throughout the country.  BMW Manu­fac­turing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manu­fac­turing network and is the exclu­sive manu­fac­turing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehi­cles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales orga­ni­za­tion is repre­sented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motor­cycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales head­quar­ters for North America, is located in Wood­cliff Lake, New Jersey.

Infor­ma­tion about BMW Group prod­ucts is avail­able to consumers via the Internet at:  www.bmwgroupna.com

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Cham­pion and 1986 Indi­anapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 28 victo­ries, 42 poles and three series cham­pi­onships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming an Indi­anapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the Amer­ican Le Mans Series. In 2010 the team won both the Manu­fac­turer and Team Cham­pi­onships in the GT cate­gory. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles — Manu­fac­turer, Team and Driver.

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